Menard leads going into final round of Elkridge Open

Raoul Menard was nearly flawless Friday, shooting a 5-under round of 65 to take a commanding lead after two rounds of the Elk Ridge Open. After recording his first bogey of the tournament, on No. 3, his 12th hole of the day, the Angie-Gardien, Quebec, native responded making birdies on four of the next five holes. His 8-under total is good for a five-shot lead over Brendan Leonard.

“I wasn’t hitting it all that great up until that point,” said Menard. “After the bogey, I fixed something in my swing a little bit, got a better rhythm and then it just happened. I didn’t force anything, I just started hitting better shots and the putts dropped in. That was the difference.”

The last birdie of his round, on No. 8, his 17th hole, came via a long chip-in from the rough.

“I just had a pretty simple chip, but I still had to make pretty good contact on it,” said Menard. “I just rolled perfectly like a putt, so that’s all I could ask for.”

Leonard, of Cambridge, Ontario, shot an even-par round of 70 with two birdies on a cool, windy day at the Elk Ridge Resort.

“Extremely tough,” said Leonard, who won the season-opening Mackenzie Investments Open in Blainville, Quebec. “The course is super tight, and there’s probably a good 50-kilometer gust up there. You have to trust your yardage book and hope that it’s going the right way, but there’s some good gusts that can really move the golf ball up there.”

Three players are tied for third place, at 2-under, including Swift Current, Saskatchewan’s Brennan Rumancik. He matched Menard for low round of the day, with a 5-under, 60. His clean scorecard featured five birdies.

“Everything was working (Friday),” said Rumancik. “I’ve really been working the last little bit on a cut shot with my driver, and I think I hit every single fairway. That really helps out here not having to chip out and cost yourself strokes that way.”

Rumancik is joined in third place by Toronto’s Sebastian Szirmak and American Franklin Huang. Seven players are tied for sixth place, at 1-under.

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